Pacheco slides into D-backs' backup-catcher role

Pacheco slides into D-backs' backup-catcher role

SAN DIEGO -- It didn't take D-backs manager Chip Hale long to get used to having three catchers.

The D-backs broke camp with Tuffy Gosewisch as the starter behind the plate, Gerald Laird as the backup and Jordan Pacheco as the third catcher and utility man, as he can also play second, third, first and both corner-outfield spots.

Laird, though, was placed on the disabled list Sunday with back spasms and the team added a 13th pitcher, A.J. Schugel, to try and ease the strain on the bullpen.

"We don't want to abuse them early in the year," Hale said of his relievers. "We've been able to rest the guys we need to rest. Schugel helped with that the other day, gave us some length. As long as we can get through these three games, then we'll think about [going down to 12 pitchers again]."

When Spring Training began, it appeared that the team only regarded Pacheco as a third catcher, but as he got more and more work behind the plate, the staff began to warm to the idea that he could be a primary backup if needed.

"He definitely earned our trust behind the plate," Hale said. "He earned our trust as a 25th guy early on in camp, just by his flexibility. But the catching part, I didn't realize he was that good. I trust him back there."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.